There’s a Jeremy Lin waiting to erupt in every league.
So we dug up the MLS names that have the identical combination of traits that have made Lin’s story transcend nationwide: a rise from relative obscurity, an unconventional path to stardom, far from dominant physical traits and the ability to impact his team in a significant way.
We narrowed down a list of 10 names that have the potential of replicating #LinSanity in 2012:
LA’s Jack McBean, FC Dallas striker Jonathan Top, the Crew’s Aaron Horton and RSL’s Sebastian Velasquez likely won’t get enough of a shot this season;
Columbus’ Ben Speas, Chivas USA’s Casey Townsend and Philly’s Chandler Hoffman come from collegiate soccer powers and don’t make the cut;
Chicago’s Orr Barouch and Portland’s Bright Dike are both doted with the athletic attributes of potential difference makers. It wouldn't be fair to name them.
Which leaves our favorite candidate: Lin’s fellow Harvard grad Mike Fucito.
He was never looked at by the US national team in his younger days, he went to a school that’s not a traditional soccer heavyweight and his 5-9 frame makes him a long shot to be a force at forward in a league where athleticism rules.
The Massachusetts native made just 13 starts and scored two league goals for Seattle in 2011, so he still has a ways to go. Similarly, Lin came off the bench in 29 games for Golden State in the last NBA season, averaging 2.6 points per game.
Fucito may have the slight headstart with the beginnings of a cult following in Seattle. But he's no regular just yet and he has the chance to take ownership of the forward spot permanently if he can stay injury-free this year.
And if the goals can follow, #LinSanity may have to make way for a dusting-off of #LikeMike.
Add the Colorado Rapids to the list of MLS teams Eddie Johnson has been linked with since his career in Europe went cold.
Back in August, it appeared Johnson was signing with MLS, only for that to sputter before gaining any real momentum. Then it looked like he was preparing to join DaMarcus Beasley at Puebla in Mexico, but that never materialized either.
Today, the Washington Post's Steven Goff tweeted that he was hearing the Rapids were in discussions to bring the former Dallas and Kansas City striker back to MLS. Based on all the false alarms, only time will tell whether Johnson find his way back to the United States, but this is certainly one worth watching.
Hearing the Colorado Rapids are in talks concerning well-traveled USA striker Eddie Johnson. Might have more details today. #mls
— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) February 15, 2012
Not everything we shoot gets edited. Last year we shot a few "Cribs" style features with rookies in MLS while on the road. We never found time to edit them together and these first year guys lost a great opportunity to shine off the field. With a bit of downtime in the lead up to the season and some un-cut content laying around we decided to give them their due and put the features together... albeit a bit late. So here's the 1st of a couple "Rookie Livin" pieces that features Servando Carrasco, Josh ford, Michael Tetteh and their home in Seattle.
Eddie Gaven's beard is a sell out! But for a five-year sponsorship deal your beard would be too...maybe even during the playoffs for the right price.
Unlike previous regimes, when USMNT boss Jurgen Klinsmann speaks, there's always a fresh takeaway.
In this latest video interview conducted by Allen Hopkins, Klinsmann makes it clear that he has no preference for a tactical formation but he's more interested in all 11 players working and running hard for 90 minutes. And the key to success for his philosophy lies in the forward line:
"It's a very difficult process for our strikers, Jozy Altidore, Juan Agudelo or Edson Buddle," Klinsmann tells Hopkins. "They have to learn to go backwards the moment we lose the ball they have to be behind the ball."
No one is exempt from the hard work, according to Klinsmann and the German fires this warning to any wannabe primadonnas.
"Maybe eventually down the road if there was one guy or maybe one diva we might have and says 'I want to do it my way,' he will be gone. He won't fit into the Brazil  roster."
It's not too hard to figure out which players this is directed at.
Let's not overthink this one. Everton scored four goals in the six games before Donovan arrived, going 2-2-2 across all competitions. Since January 4, they've scored 11 in nine, going 4-3-2 with wins over Manchester City and Chelsea.
In January, Everton scored eight times. Donovan assisted five of them.
Somewhere, Robbie Keane and Edson Buddle are smiling.
You've said those three magical words, "I love you," a thousand times before. You've given chocolate, roses... maybe even diamonds.
But on this Valentine's Day, MLS fans tried something different:
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) February 14, 2012
Tweets have been pouring in all day with photos ranging from first dates to wedding days. Below are just a couple of our faves. For more, check out the MLS Twitter page. Enjoy!
— Brent Chaney (@M_F_Chainsaw) February 14, 2012
— Althea (@Althea_PDX) February 14, 2012
— Nancy Norton (@spsoccermom) February 14, 2012
— James H (@nobius) February 14, 2012
I thought Andrew Wenger was going to be a central defender. So did Caleb Porter, apparently – the US U-23 coach played Wenger there during January's camp.
And we weren't alone; I'd say a plurality of people in the world of US/Canadian soccer figured Wenger projected as a surefire star in the middle of the defense. He has ideal tools for a young center back – he's skilled, physical, big, strong and quick, a guy cut straight from the Geoff Cameron mold.
But it turns out that Jesse Marsch has different ideas. He played Wenger up top in the rookie's first action last week, coming right out and saying "I like him as a forward." And Wenger himself has said he wants an attacking role.
So when word dropped today that former Italian international central defender Matteo Ferrari was/is about to sign with the Impact, it just crystalized what was already pretty clear: Wenger's not going to be a defender in MLS.
At least, not yet, and not unless something goes "Chris Albright at center forward"-level wrong over the next couple of years.
For the Impact's sake, let's hope that's not in the cards.
For Porter's sake, let's hope Ike Opara can stay healthy and impress. Otherwise, the US central defense could be in a world of hurt come Olympic qualifying time.
In the meantime, enjoy the highlights of Montreal's scoreless draw with the Portland Timbers:
SF clued you into some pretty clever Valentine's Day wishes from the Vancouver Whitecaps to their Cascadia rivals and a few other select sides earlier today.
Not to be outdone, FC Dallas took their own crack at Valentine's Day, talking to the squad about their big plans and who the most romantic among them might be. Consensus pick: Andrew Wiedeman.
Seems manager Schellas Hyndman is a bit of a romantic himself, mentioning that he limited the team's training today to make sure everyone has time to make sure their loved ones feel appreciated.
Good on him. Here's hoping there is a new leather jacket waiting for Hyndman courtesy of his special someone.
Oh, come on, you're not that surprised, are you?
The Washington Post's Steven Goff reported yesterday that former US men's national team coach Bob Bradley made $400,000 in bonuses from April 2010 to March 2011, a sum that put his total earnings at almost a million bucks.
Reading that makes me think one thing and one thing only: Good for Bob. He earned that money, as far as I'm concerned. And even if his round of 16 finish at the World Cup wasn't enough for you (and if it wasn't, get over yourself), he still earned a reported 1.5 million dollars less than Jurgen Klinsmann will make this year.
Moreover, Bradley recently donated two months of his salary to the victims of the Port Said tragedy, so it's not like he's blowing his money on a third Bugatti. I don't begrudge the man for being good at what he does, and I don't mind that he's getting paid well for it, either.